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Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Making Rope

 This past weekend was our districts scout camporee, and guess who was in charge of it this year.  Yes, you guessed correct that I was the man with the game plan during the camping event.  One thing I always like for the boys to do and know are the basics of today's modern technology that we use every day.  When we camp now you never have to tie a knot besides your shoes and even then you can get Velcro shoes.  A tent now has fancy lines with built in adjustable line tighteners.  We have easy ups for instant shade and everything is easy one, two, three done.  A troop asked me if they could set up a rope making station so the boys (who wanted to) could come by and make rope.  So I was in charge of the knots class and let me tell you this, kids do not want to build an Ewok village any more like I did as a youth(well besides a few of them like my son).  Same thing goes for using a compass or cooking on coals from a wood fire.  These things just are not done as much any more.  Technology has advanced to easier and faster ways of doing these things.
When the rope machine was brought out it initially had just a few boys that wanted to make some rope.  The first few pieces of rope were pretty sad looking for rope.  Now Tom Hanks would have used it in Castaway but it did not look appropriate on any Pirates of the Caribbean ships.  Then I jumped in and gave the boys some pointers on how to make a solid piece of rope and what to look for in each phase (there are only three phases).  In the end we were all making awesome looking rope that would make anybody proud.  Now I know that modern rope making machines do this much faster and better, just teaching youth what goes into a rope and how it gains it strength at each step brings out some appreciation in them and they understand the outdoors better and maybe one less kid wont waste my rope any more.  In the end I always feel that knowing how to use your basic items or know what makes up your modern technology helps you use this and makes you a better outdoorsman.  When that plastic thing breaks or your GPS batteries don't work, knowing what came before these things will help you get out of a pickle.

I saw this show the other day waiting for the IRL race of Long Beach to start and I was dieing laughing.  Who in the world has a battle royal competition on fishing knots and takes it to extremes by testing one against another.  I recorded it and showed it to my son and he said I would do the same thing.  He said if I had the technology and the science know how I would do the same thing.  We just sat quiet the rest of the night watching TV and not saying another word to each other.  Like I would ever make a show about knot wars.  Now maybe an Ewok village build off or something but not knot wars.

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    Rope Making Machine

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